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Mindfulness and Cancer : a literature review and empirical study

Holden, Emily Ruth (2010)
Clin.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This paper presents a new conceptualisation of how mindfulness-based interventions might be of psychological benefit to cancer patients and a review of the empirical literature evaluating the extent to which such benefits exist. The paper begins with an overview of mindfulness-based interventions, the mechanisms by which they are thought to have their therapeutic effects, and how they might apply to people dealing with the multiple challenges that cancer presents. This is followed by a review of the literature examining the effects of mindfulness-based interventions for cancer patients, specifically assessing how well the literature is currently able to address three key questions: 1. For whom is mindfulness helpful? 2. Does it matter how the intervention is packaged? 3. What kinds of benefits can mindfulness offer to cancer patients? A narrative synthesis of the literature finds some evidence that mindfulness-based interventions can offer psychological benefits to cancer patients but concludes that a preponderance of uncontrolled studies has led to prematurely strong conclusions in the literature. Finally, the paper suggests some implications of the review for clinicians, purchasers and researchers.

Type of Work:Clin.Psy.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Howard, Ruth
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1313
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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